The 2017 Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) elections proved disastrous for several bigwigs, while for some, especially first-timers, it turned out to be a landmark. The election saw some close finishes and several uneven fights. The giant killer was Amit Gawde of Shiv Sena, who defeated RS Kumar of NCP in Pradhikaran with a comfortable margin. Gawde was contesting for the first time. Kumar had won PCMC elections from Pradhikaran six times. He was in his seventh term and was on the verge of creating history in the polls.
Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Shakuntala Darade of NCP lost in Gurav Pimple area to first-timer Usha Mundhe of BJP. Darade was, apparently, set to join BJP before the start of the election process, but at the last moment changed her mind. Pimpri-Chinchwad Deputy Mayor Prabhakar Waghere of NCP also lost from Pimpri.
Bhausaheb Bhoir of NCP, who had won five elections in the past, lost in Dalvinagar, Chinchwad. Bhoir had shifted loyalties from Congress to NCP. Sachin Chinchwade of BJP defeated him by 2,000 votes. In Sangvi, Former Mayor Prashant Shitole, an NCP rebel, and former standing committee chairman Atul Shitole came a cropper.
BJP General Secretary Sarang Kamtekar, who was one of the BJP’s architects in its growth story in Pimpri-Chinchwad, was defeated in Indrayani Nagar area. He lost to Vikrant Lande of NCP, son of former MLA Vilas Lande.
Shiv Sena’s four-time corporator Sulbha Ubale lost in Yamunanagar. Her defeat was a big shock for the Sena as Ubale has been leading the party in PCMC House as well as outside.
Bhosari MLA Mahesh Landge’s brother Sachin Landge lost to Ajit Gavahane in Bhosari. Sachin was contesting for the first time, while Gavahane has been a corporator for long.
Similarly, Rajendra Jagtap, brother of BJP chief Laxman Jagtap, lost to Navnath Jagtap, an independent in Gurav Pimple.
Navnath is, in fact, the nephew of Jagtap. Five-time corporator Chandrakant Sonkamble lost in Dapodi. She had won on RPI ticket five times, but this time, contested on BJP ticket.
Maruti Bhapkar, who had joined Shiv Sena on the eve of polls lost to Javed Shaikh of NCP in Akurdi area. Shaikh had won for the third consecutive time from the same area.
Rajesh Pillay of the BJP lost in the biggest panel of Kharalwadi-Ajmera-Nehrunagar. He was defeated by Sameer Masulkar of NCP.
Among the winners, are the likes of husband-wife duo Nana Kate and Sheeta Kate from Pimple Saudagar-Rahatni panel. In the same area, Shatrughan Kate of BJP won with a huge margin of 5,000 votes. Shatrughan Kate was in the NCP but had switched sides.
Former mayors Yogesh Behl and Mangala Kadam, top leaders of NCP and close associates of Ajit Pawar, however retained their respective seats, but not after their rivals gave them a real scare. Behl was apparently feeling uneasy as his long-time rival Yeshwant Bhosale threatened to upset him in Sant Tukaram Nagar-Kasarwadi panel. Former Deputy Mayor Dabbu Aswani and Usha Waghere once again won from Pimpri.
Eknath Pawar, one of the top leaders of BJP, won from Shahunagar area. Former Corporator Shyam Lande of NCP won from Kasarwadi and so did Sujata Palande of BJP.
Sitting Corporator Asha Shendge, a teacher, won from Dapodi-Kasarwadi seat. Another sitting Corporator Nitin Landge of BJP again emerged a winner from Bhosari (Sandvik Colony), along with other candidates from the party — Santosh Londhe, Bhimbai Phuge and Sonali Gavahane.
In Wakad area, sitting Corporator Rahul Kalate of Shiv Sena and Mayur Kalate of NCP won. Two other Sena candidates — Ashwini Waghmare and Rekha Darshale — also won.
In Pimpri-Chinchwad’s biggest panel, all four NCP candidates won with comfortable margins. They include sitting corporators Geeta Mancharkar, Rahul Bhosale and Sameer Masulkar and former mayor Vaishali Ghodekar.
In Sambhajinagar panel, other than Mangala Kadam, Anuradha Gorkhe, mother of education baron Amit Gorkhe, Keshav Gholve and Tushar Hinge of BJP won.
In Indrayani Nagar area, sitting corporator Seema Savale won for the third time. She won with a comfortable margin. In the same panel, Vilas Medigeri and Namrata Londhe won.